Criminal Court Judge Daniella Camacho has ordered former president Rafael Correa arrested and held in pre-trial detention. Camacho issued the order Tuesday following Correa’s failure to make a court-ordered appearance on Monday.
Correa, who lives in Belgium, is wanted in connection with a 2012 kidnapping of former National Assemblyman Fernando Balda, an ally turned critic of the former president. National intelligence agents who were involved in the Bogota, Colombia kidnapping, have testified that the abduction was personally ordered by Correa.
Camacho’s arrest order was upheld Tuesday night by Ecuador’s Constitutional Court which asked the attorney general to issue an Interpol arrest and extradition warrant for Correa.
Correa ignored Camacho’s June order to appear in her Quito court, claiming that traveling from Brussels to Ecuador was an unreasonable demand. He appeared, instead, at an Ecuadorian consulate in Brussels, presenting a letter in which his lawyer claims he is protected by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights in refusing to travel to Ecuador.
Camacho disagreed with the excuse, claiming it does not apply to criminal cases.
Correa’s attorney, Caupolicán Ochoa, reacted angrily to the arrest order, saying it violated the rights of the ex-president. He said he plans to appeal through international channels.